Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Cystic fibrosis drugs to be free to Manx patients

Orkambi package Image copyright PA Media
Image caption The three drugs have not previously been available to Manx patients

Three drugs that could "improve quality of life" for cystic fibrosis patients will be available free of charge on the Isle of Man, the government has said.

Prescriptions for Orkambi, Symkevi and Kalydeco were previously not funded by the island's health service.

In October, NHS England reached a deal with manufacturer Vertex Pharmaceuticals to make the drugs available in the UK.

Cystic Fibrosis Trust Isle of Man said the decision was "amazing news".

Health minister David Ashford said the medicines would be available from mid-January 2020 "for the benefit of sufferers of this debilitating condition".

"We believe the treatment will be suitable for up to 20 patients with cystic fibrosis and I am hopeful they will improve their quality of life," he said.

Cystic fibrosis is a life-shortening genetic condition that can cause fatal lung damage.

Orkambi improves lung function and reduces breathing difficulties and can be given to children as young as two.

The other two medications treat cystic fibrosis symptoms, with Symkevi being restricted to over 12s and Kalydeco available to patients over 12 months.

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